tv 2020 ABC December 16, 2016 10:01pm-11:00pm EST
. based on the evidence you represented, do you feel you know who killed jonbenet? >> i highly suspect i do. >> tonight, all-new information and an exclusive interview, on the 20th anniversary of one of the most infamous cold case murders of the 20th century. speaking out tonight, only to "20/20," a grand juror who saw the prosecution's case.
her, or you snap. >> and a new information. >> investigators saying they have new testing that could point to the killer or killers. >> go back to the damn drawing board. >> we're taking you inside our "20/20" crime lab. >> there are two basic theories. the intruder, and then the insider theory. a family member. >> who would write a three-page rambling ransom note, other than someone trying to cover their tracks? >> why are we still confounded about what happened to a 6-year-old girl on christmas
be a match to that dna. then you have your killer. >> good evening. i'm david muir. >> and i'm elizabeth vargas. as we approach the 20th anniversary of this murder, we have an all-new look of someone coming forward, for the first time. a grand juror, someone who saw pieces of evidence over a 13-month secret proceeding. >> and cutting-edge tools only now available that might finally answer the question, who killed jonbenet? amy robach has the story of the little pageant girl who never got to live out her dreams. >> the whole jonbenet thing, you see it on tv all the time. all, like all the terrible things that can happen to people. i was her age. she would be my age now. she would be pursuing her own
once you realize, like, she never got to grow up. >> reporter: back then, thumper gosney was jonbenet's friend and competitor, on the kiddie beauty pageant circuit. >> jonbenet was the nicest girl. like, she was very poised in all of her things she did. >> reporter: here in the foothills of the rockies is the town where jonbenet ramsey grew up. boulder, colorado, a quirky college town described by locals as "25 square miles of fantasy surrounded by reality." >> we assumed we were living in a little town. and that evil existed elsewhere. >> reporter: the year was 1996. the macarena, at the top of the charts. ♪ >> i love books. >> reporter: oprah started a book club. the country had just re-elected bill clinton. as for the ramseys, john and patsy, 6-year-old jonbenet and big brother burke, age 9, they were the very picture of the good life. wealthy, thanks to john's thriving computer business.
>> patsy was a high-society woman from atlanta who knew how to decorate her house. john was a smart guy who had just been nominated or voted as entrepreneur of the year. so, really, the two of them were high society for boulder. >> reporter: patsy had just beaten ovarian cancer and was celebrating her 40th birthday. this was a christmas that promised to be as merry and bright as the ramseys' video greeting card. >> we would like to welcome you to our home, and wish you a very merry christmas. >> she decorated that place with christmas trees in every room. >> she was a southern belle. everything was about entertaining. >> patsy always liked to be in the limelight, and she was in the pageant system. >> this is an interesting item i'd like you to see. >> reporter: the name "jonbenet" was a fanciful hybrid of her father's john bennett. >> pigtails, jeans, beautiful
i mean, she was just a mischievous, fun little girl. >> jonbenet ramsey. >> reporter: at the age of 4, she began following in her mother's footsteps. >> jonbenet, thank you. >> reporter: that christmas night of 1996, the ramsey family had been out at a party at a friend's house. as they would tell barbara walters in an interview several years later, they got home well after dark. >> jonbenet was asleep when we arrived home. we took her to bed. and got burke to bed, set the alarm, and went to sleep. >> reporter: before dawn the next morning, patsy was the first one up. as she headed down this spiral staircase, something catches her eye. several pieces of paper. >> there were three pages neatly laid across one of the runs of the stairway. >> reporter: pages scrawled with a handwritten, heart-stopping message. it was a ransom note. >> of all of the evidence left behind, that ransom note is the most baffling.
>> reporter: reporter diane dimond has covered the story from the beginning. she says the author of the ransom note seemed to know a lot about the family. the demand for $180,000 was close to the exact amount of john ramsey's bonus that year. >> ransom note is not that long. a ransom note says, "i have your child. i want a million dollars. i'll call you later." this is two and a half pages long. whoever does that? >> i just remember when i read we have your daughter it was just this overwhelming fear. and i just dashed back up those stairs as fast as i could and pushed her door open. >> and then? >> and then i just screamed for john. >> reporter: jonbenet had vanished. >> we have a kidnapping, hurry please. >> explain to me what's going on, are you -- >> i'm patsy ramsey, i'm the mother -- oh, my god! please. >> okay, i'm sending an officer over, okay? >> please. >> do you know how long she's been gone? >> no, i don't. please, we just got up and she's not here.
>> the call was made to 911 and within two or three minutes patsy ramsey's on the phone to her friends and neighbors, "come on over." >> reporter: john was also making calls. >> he says, "they've got her." "what do you mean they've got her"? "they've kidnapped jonbenet. she's gone." >> and people were streaming through that house. they were in the kitchen. they were in the living room. >> they're all talking. they're passing the ransom note around. >> the police should have secured that scene by telling everybody, "get out. i'm sorry, this is a crime scene." >> reporter: it was just one of many mistakes police made that day. the first detective on the scene also did something that would radically compromise the case. >> linda arndt tells the restless john, "why don't you look around the house, see if anything is missing or looks strange." >> start at the top and go to the bottom. but he didn't do that. he went to the basement first where, of course, whoa, he finds his daughter's body. >> i saw her lying on the floor with a white blanket. her hands were tied above her
she had tape over her mouth. her eyes were closed. >> and lo and behold, when john ramsey finds the body, you now have john ramsey at the crime scene. >> john ramsey picked that little girl up, took the tape off of her mouth and dragged her upstairs in his arms. and then the coup de gras. he grabs a blanket, which is full of who knows what kind of contaminants, and throws it over the body. right then and there, the police investigation was tainted. >> reporter: jonbenet had been strangled with a length of cord, a vicious homemade weapon known as a garrote. she was hit on the head with enormous force. and, there was evidence of sexual abuse. >> i knelt next to her, and i leaned down to her face. and john leaned down opposite me. >> reporter: in her 1999 interview, detective
arndt seemed to suggest to elizabeth vargas that, in that moment, she was afraid of john ramsey. >> and we had a nonverbal exchange that i will never forget. and he asked if she was dead. and i said, "yes, she's dead." and as we looked at each other, i remember -- and i wore a shoulder holster, tucking my gun right next to me and consciously counting, "i've got 18 bullets." >> why did you do that? >> because i didn't know if we'd all be alive when people showed up. >> reporter: when patsy ramsey saw her daughter's body, she collapsed. >> i knelt down over her and just laid my body on her body and my cheek against her cheek, and it was cold. and i just kept saying, no, no,
you know, asked god -- asked god to raise her. >> reporter: the kidnapping had just turned into a murder. speculation about possible suspects begins immediately, and no one can be ruled out. >> i know who killed jonbenet. there's no doubt in my mind who killed jonbenet. >> reporter: and the grand juror who thinks he knows too. stay with us.
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"20/20" continues. >> reporter: the evening of december 26th. earlier that day, jonbenet's body was found, and the street outside was quiet. >> they brought jonbenet's body out past the candy canes that were decorating the front of the house, and there were only like two reporters outside to capture that. and then the storm happened. >> jonbenet ramsey, the little girl in colorado, was murdered. >> beauty queen, jonbenet -- >> jonbenet's murder has frightened residents of boulder. >> this case had everything. it had a beautiful little girl, found murdered in her home. her parents are suspects. videotape of her in beauty pageants. >> it touched every parent's heart. this was a child who was put to bed by her parents and never woke up. i mean, that's every parent's nightmare. >> reporter: hundreds of reporters descended on the small city of boulder, including craig lewis of the supermarket tabloid "the globe."
his marching orders were clear. >> when the beauty pageant pictures came out and they put jonbenet on the cover of the magazine, they sold an extra half million a week. they said, "we want a story a week, every week. we don't care what the story is. we just want to put jonbenet's picture on the cover." >> reporter: those pageant videos raised eyebrows. but, for some, so did the ramseys' behavior. carol mckinley is a veteran colorado reporter. >> john ramsey got on the phone, right after his daughter's body was found, to his pilot to get him out of town. i mean, jonbenet's body is lying under the christmas tree. >> it was reported that shortly after you found your daughter's body, that you called the pilot of your plane to arrange a flight to atlanta. is that true? >> i did. the police took the house over. we had nowhere to go. we wanted to go home. >> they didn't want to talk with the police. they lawyered up right away. >> reporter: the ramseys agreed to give handwriting, hair and blood samples.
still, they refused formal interviews with the police. >> at this point, they haven't interviewed the mother or father. not surprisingly, they're still very grief-stricken. they haven't been in any condition to be interviewed. >> there was no evidence of a break-in. there was no jimmying on the front door. there was no back door crashed in. there were four people in that house and one died overnight. so everyone inside was a suspect. >> i think the primary reason the focus so quickly turned to the ramseys was, you have that ransom note. who would write a three-page, rambling ransom note other than someone trying to cover their tracks who was in the house? >> when you realized that you two were the prime suspects, what did you think? what did you feel? what did you say? >> well, we were outraged. we were shocked. how could they think that? we were a normal family. >> you just can't believe it. we're suffering from having lost our child. and then for someone to accuse you, it's just -- you can't believe that that would happen.
parents always did it. and that became the conclusion. the tragedy of the police investigation was that it ended on december 26th. >> reporter: their 15-room mansion was now a crime scene. and what investigators soon learned was that some items used by the killer belonged to patsy ramsey. the ransom note, and a second draft note, police say written on her notepad. the paintbrush used as part of the garrote came from patsy's art supplies. there were even fibers from the black and red check blazer she wore that night stuck to the duct tape covering jonbenet's mouth. >> it was a red jacket, all over the place downstairs, including on the underside of the duct tape. and that was very, very important. but there are problems because patsy lived in that house. would those fibers have been there anyway? >> reporter: three days after jonbenet died, the ramseys held a memorial service for their daughter. she was buried in atlanta beside
her half-sister, beth, john's daughter by his first wife. but 24 hours later, they surprised everyone, breaking their silence on television. >> we wanted to talk. >> they held everybody off with lawyers and friends. and then the next thing the police knew, they were on cnn. >> if anyone knows anything, please help us. >> and as a mother, my heart went out to this couple. but my journalistic brain said to me, "this isn't right." they should be talking to the police, not the public via a cable television network. >> reporter: john ramsey says it's an interview he now regrets doing. >> five days after the murder, you did an interview on cnn. why did you do that? >> we did it reluctantly and at the insistence of some friends
painted as guilty. >> reporter: back in boulder, the tips were pouring in. at the time of jonbenet's murder, there were reportedly 38 registered sex offenders living within two miles of the family's home. dozens of suspects, from family friends to the ramseys' housekeeper, were checked out and eliminated. even jonbenet's 9-year-old brother burke was questioned by a child psychologist. the video shown for the first time this year on "dr. phil." >> what do you think happened to your sister? >> i know what happened to my sister. she was killed. >> how do you think that happened? >> i think someone took her very quietly and took her down to the basement and he took a knife out and he -- whoops, like that. >> mm-hmm. >> probably with a hammer -- hit her in the head with it. >> i want to say something to the person or persons that took this baby from us.
the list of suspects narrows. soon there will be no one on the list but you. >> reporter: but the months passed with no arrest. and the police had not yet asked the ramseys all the questions they wanted. the couple's lawyers set conditions. >> the ramsey's attorneys wanted all the questions. they said they wouldn't go in for an interview with the police because they didn't know what the police were going to ask. >> reporter: as the standoff continued, speculation about their motives grew ever more lurid. was john ramsey a pedophile? did patsy murder her own daughter? the tabloids were having a field day, even speculating about a motive. >> let me give you the motive that is ascribed to you. you were downstairs. maybe she came down. she said, "mommy, i wet my bed." you said, "again, jonbenet!" and you either pushed her or you hit her. you were exhausted, furious. you did it. >> you have a child.
of the night and slaughter your child? we're parents. we love our children. >> these are the two major motives -- either you sexually molested her, or you snapped. >> let me tell you something. i am a cancer survivor of stage four cancer. john has lost a child in an automobile accident. that completely changes your outlook. when you are standing on the brink of death with a terminal illness, your priorities suddenly line up in a row. and you know exactly what the important things are in life. and bedwetting is totally insignificant. >> did either of you for a moment suspect each other? >> no. >> not for a minute. >> absolutely not for a microsecond. >> reporter: the ramseys insisted that an intruder had broken into their house. >> does it sound possible that a killer would sit for hours and hours in your house -- >> that house was so rambling. there was so many hiding places. he could be hidden for a week and we wouldn't find him. >> reporter: when we come back --
talking about. >> reporter: the explosive interrogation tapes. authorities ask some hard questions. but the ramseys push back. >> i am talking about scientific evidence. >> i don't give a flying flip how scientific it is, go back to the damn drawing board. >> reporter: so we did. next, does the handwriting point to a suspect? >> so this is patsy's handwriting and this is the ransom note. >> reporter: stay with us.
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"20/20" continues. >> reporter: whoever killed jonbenet ramsey left a treasure trove of clues. starting with the body itself. a massive skull fracture, as well as that awful garotte. the whole scene left seemingly staged. but of all the evidence, the ransom note was perhaps the most controversial. >> what has thrown great suspicion on you, mrs. ramsey. >> reporter: and that's why when barbara walters interviewed the ramseys, everyone wanted to hear, how would patsy respond to allegations she wrote it? >> this has been inconclusive, but the similarity of the handwriting is the strongest piece of evidence implicating you. >> well, if that's the strongest then there's not much of a case because we have had handwriting experts to look at my handwriting as well. and on the scale, i believe, of
totally incomplete match, i was rated at a 4.5. so there's very little. >> reporter: in fact, at least six handwriting experts agreed that john ramsey could be eliminated as the author of the note, and that patsy ramsey, probably, did not write it either. but handwriting analysis is not an exact science, and at least one expert has a very different opinion. professionally speaking, how certain are you that patsy ramsey wrote this ransom note? >> its highly probable that she wrote the ransom note. >> reporter: cina wong has testified in more than 60 trials. she says she compared that note with more than 100 samples of patsy ramsey's handwriting. she created these charts. >> first of all, here are some similarities. >> reporter: claiming she found substantial similarities with the way certain letters were formed, such as these "a"s.
"a"s, the ransom note writer has four different variations of the letter "a." and then patsy ramsey uses the same variation of the four different types of "a"s. >> reporter: in total she says she found over 200 similarities in the writing, including unique ways letter combinations were formed. >> on the first example you'll see that when the letter "t" and "e" are written together, they connect, they touch. on the second one it's called a misplaced capital. there's a capital "l" in the middle of the word "will." >> reporter: so this is patsy's writing and this is the ransom note. >> the ransom note right, when the word "unharmed" is written, you'll see that the "a", that this portion is up above. it's higher than the hump of the "h" and it happens in both cases. >> reporter: but wong's analysis, which she prepared in connection with a civil lawsuit against the ramseys, was never allowed in court. a federal judge concluded in 2003 she lacked the necear
in that case. nevertheless, it would be a long time before interrogators could formally ask the ramsey's about that note, or anything else. >> i am talking about scientific evidence. >> i don't give a flying flip how scientific it is, go back to the damn drawing board. i didn't do it! >> what i see here is really frankly extraordinary. >> reporter: forensic psychiatrist steve pitt had been brought in back then to advise detectives how to interrogate patsy. >> she was a formidable interview subject. >> he didn't do it. i didn't do it. burke didn't do it. we loved that child. we're not involved. read my lips. >> reporter: this interrogation took hours, and covered the entire case. >> patsy ramsey is leaning in, she's right in his face. >> you seldom if ever see that. >> reporter: pitt says rather than being defensive in the interview, patsy was on the attack. >> anyone who watches any beauty pageant at all knows that yo
>> i did not kill my child. i didn't have a thing to do with it. >> she's very feisty, she's almost combative. and that doesn't mean she's guilty, but it doesn't mean she's innocent either. >> i didn't do it. >> the bottom line is there's nothing there they could use to say, aha! we've got you. >> reporter: both patsy, and in a separate interview, john ramsey, deny anyone in the family killed jonbenet. >> when they're asked about, well, who do you think might have done this if it wasn't you, who? they start throwing out names out there for the police to follow up on. >> i've thought about almost everybody we know, because you just don't trust people anymore. >> reporter: perhaps the biggest supporter of an alternative suspect came to town from colorado springs. lou smit was a renowned homicide
investigator. and he dug into the crime scene photos. >> we had to find out what these marks were. >> reporter: he saw marks on the body he didn't think had been adequately explained. he determined they came from a stun gun. since it would've been unnecessary for the ramseys to use a stun gun to get jonbenet out of bed, he eliminated them as suspects. smit honed in on a picture of this open window, and a suitcase below. >> when i first saw this photograph i thought, uh-oh, looks like somebody could've got in here. >> reporter: when he saw what looked like a footprint and a small piece of glass on top of the suitcase, he suspected that's how the killer got in. >> i'll show you how easily it can be done. >> reporter: smit demonstrated climbing through that window was not only possible, it wasn't that difficult. but even if someone could have snuck in, the big question remained. who? >> there were a whole host of other possible suspects ranging from neighbors to known
criminals to friends of the ramseys. >> reporter: but a few people would get special attention. including the man who played santa at the ramseys' christmas parties. >> what a perfect suspect, santa claus. wouldn't that have just tied it all up in a nice little bow? >> reporter: but nothing would be tied up neatly in this case. test results on a spot on jonbenet's underwear revealed both her own dna, and dna of an unknown male. and that unknown male didn't match john ramsey, his son burke, or any of the other possible intruder suspects so far. regardless, many in the police department still thought there was more than enough evidence for the district attorney to prosecute the ramseys. this man was one of the only people to ever see that evidence. based on the evidence you were presented, do you feel you know who killed jonbenet ramsey?
>> i highly suspect i do. >> reporter: next, you will hear from this grand juror, who has never spoken publicly about what he saw. what did he think? stay with us. there is no typical day. there is nothing typical about making movies. i'm victoria alonso and i'm an executive producer... ...at marvel studios. we are very much hands-on producers. if my office... ...becomes a plane or an airport the surface pro's perfect. fast and portable but also light. you don't do this 14 hours a day, 7 days a week for... ...decades if you don't feel it in your heart. listen, i know my super power is to not ever sleep. that's it. that's the only super power i have. [ almost... there...ental ]
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"20/20" continues. >> reporter: little girl, big mystery. even after nearly two years of investigation, the murder of jonbenet ramsey remained unsolved. it was looking like the killer might never get caught. until, in late 1998, the wheels of boulder justice jumped into overdrive. the d.a. presented the case to a grand jury of eight women and four men. >> police have been pushing for this day for months. >> we're at a grand jury stage where the key element is surprise. >> reporter: no one is talking about what's going on in the courtroom. and we don't expect a lot of information to come out. >> reporter: grand jury proceedings in colorado and elsewhere are secret. the penalties for revealing testimony or evidence can be severe, even jail time.
two decades later, one member of that jury has agreed to talk to "20/20." given the possible repercussions, we agreed to alter his voice and put his face in shadow. >> before you were a grand juror, what did you know about the jonbenet ramsey case? >> i saw that there was a little girl dressed up with, in my opinion, a sexual persona, and it disgusted me and i turned off the tv. >> reporter: over the course of more than a year, he and the other grand jurors grappled with the evidence and testimony from dozens of witnesses. the whole jury even took a field trip to the ramsey home on 15th street. >> in the basement where she was found, it was actually kind of an obscure layout. and you had to -- to go into -- you come down the stairwell and you had to go into another room to find a door that was closed. it was a very eerie feeling. it was like, "somebody had been killed here." >> reporter: a grand jury does not decide guilt or innocence,
cause to charge someone with a crime. >> probable cause means there's enough for us to move forward. the difference between getting an indictment versus proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a huge difference. >> reporter: was there enough evidence to indict john and patsy ramsey of a crime? >> based upon the evidence, i believe that's correct. >> reporter: but if the case went to trial, did he believe that the ramseys would be convicted? >> no. >> reporter: no doubt? >> there is no way that i would have been able to say, "beyond a reasonable doubt, this is the person." >> reporter: there was no smoking gun. >> not to the point of knowing exactly what happened, or exactly who was involved, no. and if you are the district attorney, if you know that going in, it's a waste of taxpayer dollars to do it. >> reporter: still, the grand jury handed up an indictment accusing john and patsy ramsey of not murder, but child abuse, finding they allowed jonbenet to
>> at least nine of those jurors felt there was probable cause to believe that that crime occurred. and saying that, they were also saying, "i can't tell who did what." i'm not ready to say there's probable cause to believe that either john ramsey or patsy ramsey intentionally and deliberately murdered their child. >> reporter: after a year and a half of investigation, the stakes could not have been higher for the district attorney, or the ramseys. >> we were prepared to drive to the sheriff's office, turn ourselves in, and be jailed. we had signed a custodial agreement that would put burke in the custody of my brother. >> we had to prepare in the event the worst happened. that is a daunting thought. i mean, when you're packing your suitcase, saying, well, what does one take when one might end up in jail? >> reporter: but in an astonishing turn of events, the prosecutor nullified the findings of his own grand jury.
the criminal justice equivalent of, oh, never mind. >> i must report to you that i and my prosecution task force believe we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time. >> what made this case so unusual is that the grand jury did hand up an indightment on certain charges and the district attorney decided not to prosecute. >> and i remember john saying, "now, maybe they'll go after the real killer." >> do you know how much evidence it takes to come up with an indictment? about this much. they found nothing in 13 months. there was nothing that pointed to john or to me. >> reporter: then-governor bill owens was furious. >> if i could speak to john and patsy ramsey, i'd tell them to quit hiding behind their attorneys, quit hiding behind their pr firm, come back to
colorado, work with us to find the killers in this case, no matter where that trail may lead. >> what do you say to the governor? >> i would say to governor owens, you spent three years investigating my family. what are you going to do to find the killer of my daughter? >> reporter: a mystery for some. less so for our mysterious juror. based on the evidence you were presented, do you feel you know who killed jonbenet ramsey? >> i highly suspect i do. >> reporter: and who do you think that is? >> i wish not to answer that question. >> reporter: now the investigation is about to leap ahead, detectives examining 20-year-old evidence under the microscope of the latest technology. could it reveal a whole new theory of the jonbenet ramsey murder case? stay with us. viagra single packs, so guys with ed can... ...take viagra when they need it. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex.
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>> reporter: remember this man? john mark karr, perhaps the most notorious of all the potential suspects. >> i love jonbenet, and she died accidently. >> are you an innocent man? >> no. >> reporter: he was an american living in thailand who had confessed to killing jonbenet. a schoolteacher by trade, when he was picked up in bangkok in 2006, he'd apparently missed the class on the right to remain silent. >> what happened in the last few moments? were you playing with her? what happened? >> her death was an accident. >> so you were in the basement? >> yes. >> reporter: but back in boulder, that bombshell was a bust.
because despite his confession, his dna didn't match that spot on her underwear. karr's confession was considered false. in fact, dna has routinely been the achilles' heel for boulder law enforcement. and as recently as this week -- >> the d.a. office is confirming they'll re-test certain items this week. >> reporter: dna was back in the news again. >> you can see certain analysis now that a year ago, two years ago you couldn't have done. we have an obligation on every case to make sure that we're doing up to the date analysis. we're going to do that in ramsey as well. >> reporter: on wednesday, the current district attorney stan garnett announced the new tests will tap into the fbi's database of more than 15 million known offenders. unless a match is someday made, some say the cloud of suspicion may never leave the ramseys, like they thought it had back in 2008. >> authorities investigating the death
officially cleared her parents. >> reporter: then district attorney mary lacy said a new round of dna tests revealed skin cells, this time on jonbenet's leggings. this so-called "touch dna" matched the spot on her underwear. both were from the same unknown male. and as a result, she took a controversial step, sending a letter to john ramsey, saying those in the family were no longer "under any suspicion." and she publicly apologized for all they had gone through. >> we are certainly grateful for acknowledgement that we are innocent. this was an intruder which of course we've always maintained. >> reporter: for the first time, the entire ramsey family was seemingly cleared. but to this day, that conclusion has its critics. should the ramseys have been exonerated by the d.a. based on this new touch dna evidence? >> no. there may be some other evidence. but not on this touch dna. >> reporter: famed pathologist dr. michael baden questions districttt
>> her interpretation was faulty. >> reporter: because as much as the technology was a breakthrough, it could create red herrings too. >> finding skin cells and the dna on an item of evidence doesn't necessarily mean that person committed the crime. >> reporter: dr. lawrence kobilinsky, a professor at john jay college of criminal justice, says dna from skin cells can be unreliable. >> there are other explanations for why a person's dna ends up on an object. through touch. for example, i shake your hand, i pick up your shed skin cells that way and then i touch an object, transferring your cells on to the object. >> reporter: however, "20/20" obtained the actual test results lacy relied upon. and took them to professor kobilinksy to examine. and guess what, despite the shortcomings, he agrees with the
d.a., mary lacy. the dna from those leggings and the dna from the underwear are most likely from the same unknown male, not one of the ramseys. >> i would not use the word match. i prefer to use the word consistent with. this is not perfect, but there is enough information there to conclude the family should've been exonerated. >> reporter: back in boulder, stan garnett, who replaced lacy as district attorney, says her exoneration letter means little going forward. >> our job is not to go around clearing people or not clearing people, our job is to review evidence. >> reporter: and now, with the dna case reopened, maybe, just maybe, he'll get some new evidence to review. how likely is it? >> very unlikely. and the reason is because this case has been so thoroughly examined, it was so high profile, it's a very long shot that this case will ever be solved. >> see, i've lived a lot longer than dan, fortunately or unfortunately. and things come up years later, decades later, that sometimes
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and great service. over seventy-five years. wait. seventy-five years? that is great. speaking of great, check out these hot riffs. you like smash mouth? uh, yeah i have an early day tomorrow so... wait. almost there. goodnight, bruce. gotta tune the "a." (humming) take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more. hi, we(laughter)lford quads. we're in 8th grade. technology is the only thing that really entertains us. i'm gonna use this picture on sketchbook, and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers, it just feels more comfortable for me. be like, boop! it's gone. i like that only i can get into it and that it recognizes my fingerprint. our old tablet couldn't do that. it kind of makes you feel like you're your own person, which is a rare opportunity in my family. (laughter)
and thanks to target, i got to the after party - this nice little outfit just in time using order pickup. stay fresh! get last minute gifts with order pickup at target. >> reporter: she is the little girl frozen in time. but had she lived, jonbenet would now be a woman -- 26 years old. it can be hard to imagine, especially for her father. he spoke to barbara walters last year. >> do you think about what kind of a woman she would have been? >> mostly i think of her as a 6-year-old child that i remember. >> reporter: after jonbenet's death, john says patsy devoted herself to raising burke, until she lost her battle with ovarian
cancer in 2006. >> she was an amazing person, and very focused on burke and what's best for burke. and that became her -- her life. >> how is burke doing today? >> burke's doing very well. i'm very proud of him. >> reporter: burke is now 29, a software engineer, and back in the headlines after an interview with dr. phil this fall -- the first time he ever spoke publicly about the case. >> some people have speculated that your parents weren't protecting you. they were hiding you. >> yeah. >> and that for the last 20 years you had been hiding out. >> for the last 20 years i wanted to grow up like a normal kid, which does not include being in front of a tv camera. >> reporter: after the murder, john lost his successful business, and his millions. but in a life marked by loss, he has found a way to move on. five years ago, he remarried, and he's written a book called "the other side of suffering." >> there's a number of elements that i think you have to come to
grips with. one is forgiveness. >> forgive yourself or forgive the perpetrator? >> well, both. both. why couldn't i have protected my daughter? why didn't i check the locks better in the house? and the other aspects of the killer, the police, all the people you have to forgive. that's a tough bridge to get over. >> reporter: john ramsey still holds out hope that the killer will be found. >> you think the killer is still out there somewhere? >> he's either out there, dead or in prison. what i've been advocating is that anyone arrested for a felony should be dna printed just like they're fingerprinted. i was told by a chief of police that if we had such a law in place in this country, nationwide, we would solve 1,000 murders overnight. >> reporter: but after 20 years, many who have studied the case see no signs that this enduring mystery will ever end. >> i have to hope that jonbenet ramsey gets her justice. but i can see this being a cold case that stays in the freezer forever.
>> the colorado bureau of investigation is opening its new dna facility in 2017. we'll follow the results. >> and our question for you, who do you think killed jonbenet? let us know on facebook and twitter. >> and tomorrow night, i'm following six different grown-ups in search of their mother. will they find her and make it home for the holidays? i'm elizabeth vargas. >> and i'm david muir. thanks for watching "20/20" tonight, and we'll see you right back here tomorrow. good night.